UN rights council slams Yemen violations

29th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN Human Rights Council Thursday slammed violations in Yemen but did not say if they were committed by troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh or rival tribesmen and renegade troops.

The resolution, proposed by Yemen itself and adopted by consensus, asked the office of the UN rights chief Navi Pillay to present a progress report on the situation in the country during the next sitting of the council in 2012.

It also noted the Yemeni authorities' pledge to launch "transparent and independent investigations, which will adhere to international standards" on the alleged abuses.

Saleh, who is under international pressure to relinquish power and allow new elections, returned to the country on Friday, sparking violence in which scores have been killed.

The 69-year-old president has repeatedly refused to sign a power transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council under which he would hand over to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.

However, rights campaigners and the European Union said that the resolution did not go far enough.

Brussels "had hoped that ... international oversight of the investigations could have been included in the resolution," said Poland's envoy, speaking on behalf of the EU.

He also noted that the resolution "could have been strengthened in light of events on the ground."

Earlier this week, eight international NGOs including Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organisation Against Torture also issued a statement calling on the council to order an independent probe.

They slammed the measures discussed by the rights body as "undecisive" and said that the "failure of political will among states, including the United States, members of the European Union and League of Arab States, to respond appropriately through the Human Rights Council is unacceptable."

© 2011 AFP

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